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Old January 22nd, 2008, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default 96 Tracker freeze plugs

Freeze plugs blew out at the rear of the block on my wife's Tracker (16 valve motor).

Anyone have any tips on easiest way to fix this, is it pull engine or drop transmission time?

(Wife does NOT want to get rid of it, it's in nice shape and the only other breakdown was a water pump)
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 06:15 PM   #2
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did they litterally blow out or did they rust out so bad they started to leak? your going to wanna figure out what caused them to go bad after you put new plugs in. which plug leaks? the one in the bellhousing, or the one in the back of the head. if it's in the bell housing it's easier to pull the trans, if it's the one in the head then it's probably easier to pull the engine.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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if it was from freezing then you will have other problems. they are not there for freezing. they are there for casting reasons. (to get core sand out.) for some reason some one started calling them freeze plugs, so now that is what most people call them.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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Not sure, the coolant was dripping from the back of the engine, I might be able to get a mirror in to see the back of the head.

The engine didn't freeze, in fact the coolant was good to -20 degrees, I had just tested a month ago.

They likely corroded, I've had that problem with other aluminum engines.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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if it was from freezing then you will have other problems. they are not there for freezing. they are there for casting reasons. (to get core sand out.) for some reason some one started calling them freeze plugs, so now that is what most people call them.
they call them freeze plugs cuz thats how they used to put them in. freeze them so they shrink and then put them in.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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they call them freeze plugs cuz thats how they used to put them in. freeze them so they shrink and then put them in.
Riiiiiight.

Whatever they are called, anything I should be aware of (specifically to this vehicle) before I tear into it...I have changed these things on domestic cars before, just wondering if there's any time saving tips...
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 05:29 PM   #7
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the year and a half that i built engines we never once froze them. we just beat them in
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 08:21 PM   #8
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the year and a half that i built engines we never once froze them. we just beat them in
yea thats how there installed typically but someone must have done it by freezing them and thereby coined the term. doesn't matter non the less.

the main advise i'd suggest is unless you have alot of clearance in between the engine and firewall i'd pull the motor out so you can change them. just gotta knock one side in to kick it sideways and yank it out with pliers. just be careful not to knock the plug into the waterjacket then you'll have some problems possibly getting it out.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #9
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I have changed freeze plugs, I know how to get them out, what I am more interested in is this:

Are there any little things that I should watch out for pulling the engine, like hidden wiring connectors and such.....
How big of a biiiitch is it to get to the motor mounts....
Will the motor come out with the torque converter attached, or should I unbolt it from the flexplate first...

Y'know, practical stuff.

If I had the cash, I'd pay somebody to do it cuz it's frickin cold outside...
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Old January 24th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #10
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i'm not familar with that vehicle very well. motor mounts shouldn't be too bad if i'm not mistaken though. you can't pull the engine without unbolting the converter, unless you wanna dump trans fluid everywhere. put it this way book time to remove and install the engine itself is 6.6 without A/C and 7.6 with A/C. thats about standard labor time compared to other vehicles so it shouldn't be that bad. the motor mounts are 2 hours for both so they can't be that hard to get to
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Old January 24th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #11
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OK, looks like I need to borrow a garage....was going to try to do it at work but policy is < 8hrs for "gov't work" even off the clock.

They are nice enough to let employees use the building for personal stuff on your days off, I don't want to be the one that screws that up....
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Old January 24th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #12
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if you got 300 bucks i'll do the whole job for you.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #13
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If I only had the $300 right now....
Wouldn't be until 2nd week of Feb if that's ok.
Still recovering from xmas and home repairs
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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:24 PM   #14
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thats fine with me. i have a 93 tracker in my garage right now for an oil leak and it appears that you definatly have to pull the engine out, but it's nothing i can't handle. more time consuming then difficult. but yea if you wanna bring it to me whenever you like thats fine with me, you won't be dissappointed and i'll appreciate the buisiness
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